One in 10 prisoners on whole life sentences from Bradford

Behind bars: Anwar Rosser

Behind bars: Anwar Rosser

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

One in ten killers sentenced in the UK to spend the rest of their lives behind bars are from Bradford, it has been revealed.

The whole life tariff handed out last week to sadistic Anwar Rosser for the savage murder of four-year-old Riley Turner, who was asleep at his home in Keighley, means that five of the 54 whole life prisoners in the UK come from the district.

Evil Rosser, 33, joins a list of infamous murderers who will never be released, which include the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and the Crossbow Cannibal Stephen Griffiths.

When Rosser was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court last Thursday, High Court judge Mr Justice Coulson shrugged aside judicial debate about the legality of such orders.

Last year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled the sentences must be reviewed at some point. The Court of Appeal is considering whether such sentences remain legal and will decide at a later date.

The Government insists sentences which mean life are “wholly justified in the most heinous cases.”

Sentencing Rosser, Mr Justice Coulson said: “I am in no doubt that, in the crown court, the only permissible approach is to continue to apply the domestic law.

“It would cause chaos if judges did not apply long-standing statutory provisions merely because there was a risk that, at some stage in the future, those provisions might be the subject of review or amendment.”

Rosser becomes the 54th prisoner serving a whole life term.

Apart from Sutcliffe and Griffiths, the list includes Ernest Wright, who was jailed for the shotgun execution of Neville Corby in Bradford, and Desmond Lee, who killed his Bradford landlady in 1989 and then murdered again after being released.

Donald Neilsen, of Bradford, known as the Black Panther, who murdered four people in the 1970s, was also serving a whole life tariff until his death in 2011.

Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies praised Mr Justice Coulson for his stance.

He said: “If somebody is convicted of murder, whatever the circumstances, they should spend the rest of their lives in prison. If you murder somebody you have forfeited your human rights.”

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree